Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud hasn’t played a big-league game since April 25, when the pain in his right shoulder became too much to bear. Since then, he’s slowly been fighting back from a strained rotator cuff.
But when d’Arnaud is activated on the DL on Tuesday, he shouldn’t expect much of a grace period.
“When he gets back here, I think we’re going to throw him out there,” manager Terry Collins said. “Now, is he going to be more than four in a row, I doubt it. It may not be four in a row. We’ll just see how he plays. But I think he’s ready to take on anything we can put at him except for a real extended period of time.”
D’Arnaud was scheduled to catch full games Saturday and Sunday with Triple-A Las Vegas, his final tuneup before he rejoins the Mets on Tuesday.
Said Collins: “If he can play three or four in a row, and swing the bat the way he’s capable of, I think he’s going to be a huge addition.”
D’Arnaud’s ability to throw will receive scrutiny upon his return. Collins said recent reports have indicated improvement.
“It’s coming along great,” d’Arnaud said.
But it’s his potential at the plate that the Mets have missed the most. Though he was hitting just .196 at the time of his injury, d’Arnaud hit .268 with 12 homers last season, production that made him one of the better offensive catchers in baseball.
It’s a bat that could help an ailing Mets lineup that is already missing the injured David Wright and Lucas Duda.
“When he’s in that lineup, he’s a threat,” Collins said. “I think he handles our pitching staff well. Hopefully, his arm is sound enough. But you put that bat in the middle of our lineup, that changes a lot of things.”
Mets catchers are hitting just .197 this season, second worst in the National League, and well behind the league average of .245.
Feeling the Flo
Wilmer Flores returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Thursday, when he was struck on the left wrist by a Juan Nicasio fastball.
“There should be no aftereffects,” Collins said of Flores, who escaped relatively unscathed with a bruised wrist.
Flores was held out of the lineup Friday as a precaution, though he struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance. He reported feeling improvement in the wrist Saturday, when he started at third base.
Flores began the night hitting .248, a figure bolstered by his .366 average since June 1. The surge coincides roughly with when he took over full-time duties at third base in place of Wright.